Dr. Fozia Ali, family physician, associate professor at UT Health, and an avid AHEC partner and Bexar TAB member, recently taught a Pakistani cooking class at the Raindrop Turkish House. Raindrop, a non-profit community center founded by Turkish-Americans in Houston in 2000, hosts monthly cooking series called Celebrating the International Flavors of San Antonio, as a way to cultivate friendship and promote understanding of diverse cultures. Open to the community, the classes are a spinoff of the regularly held Turkish cooking classes, and are usually taught by instructors who are not professional chefs, but more of neighbors and friends from across the globe, who want to showcase their native food.
A total of 18 participants, joined Dr. Ali on Saturday morning, to learn the rich culture of Pakistan, the background of the dishes she had planned to prepare, and how they are cooked. With Dr. Ali’s class, the group got to try their hand in cooking Pakistani cuisine, by helping chop and mix ingredients together. At the end, she presented the group with punjabi yakhni pilau (chicken and basmati rice), shahi daal (a vegetarian dish made with lentils, cilantro and cumin), a yogurt-based green chutney dipping sauce and sheer khurma (vermicelli pudding) for dessert. Once the meals were ready, the group gathered in the dining room not only to enjoy the meal and but also to get to know one another better, staying true to the mission of Raindrop’s cooking series of “cultivating friendship and promote understanding of diverse cultures.” Michelle Newman, a participant of Dr. Ali’s class is quoted saying, “That’s what I love about this, the way it brings people together. Food really does help cross those cultural boundaries that keep us apart.” For more information about the international cuisine cooking classes, call 210-861-5211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org